Coronavirus in Japan: Travel Updates

Last updated: June 25th 2021

Follow our latest updates on the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in Japan, including travel restrictions, entry bans, cancelled events and postponements.

In summary

  • June 2021: Japan's third State of Emergency ended for 9 prefectures on June 20. Okinawa extends until July 11.
  • Vaccine Rollout: Japan's inoculation drive accelerates with workplace vaccination plans expanding.
  • Tokyo 2020: The Games will proceed and open to limited domestic spectators, though overseas spectators will not be able to attend.
  • After-Covid: Find a variety of related articles about post-Covid travel in Japan.

Table of contents

  1. Travel updates
  2. Cancelled events
  3. Staying safe in Japan: Covid FAQ
  4. Travel advisories
  5. Official resources
     

While every effort has been made to keep the info listed here complete and accurate, we advise to always check the official website for any place to get the latest updates issued by authorities.

Travel Updates

State of Emergency to be Lifted in 9 prefectures

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Japan's third State of Emergency would be lifted on June 20 in 9 prefectures, with the exception of Okinawa which extends until July 11. Seven prefectures will continue to be subject to quasi-emergency measures — including asking establishments to close by 8pm and stop serving alcohol by 7pm. Via Japan Times

EU adds Japan to Safe Travel List

EU recommends to its member states to add Japan to its list of safe countries where restrictions on non-essential travel by Japan residents can be gradually lifted Via Japan Times

State of Emergency Extended to June 20th

Prime Minister Suga announces extension to existing State of Emergency with the order to remain for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima. Via Japan Times

State of Emergency Expanded to Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima

State of Emergency measures expanded to 8 prefectures in new move that replaces earlier 'quasi-emergency' plans. Japan is grappling with a continual surge just 10 weeks before the Tokyo Olympics is expected to start.  Via Kyodo News

State of Emergency Extended to May 31

State of Emergency measures continue in Tokyo & Osaka, also expanded to other prefectures (Aichi, Fukuoka).  Via Kyodo News

Third State of Emergency Confirmed: April 25–May 11

Japan's 3rd State of Emergency covers Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo and extends through Golden Week, with new measures to curb entertainment venues, events and gatherings.  Via Kyodo News

Quasi-emergency COVID-19 measures start in Osaka, Hyogo, Miyagi

The three prefectures are the first to see special, stricter measures introduced following a February law change.  Via Kyodo News

Vaccine Rollout Continues

Japan's vaccine rollout started in late February and continues with a 6th batch of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine received.  Via Kyodo News

No Entry for Overseas Spectators to Tokyo 2020

Japan's vaccine rollout started in late February and continues to ramp up the pace, with a 6th batch of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine received.  Via Tokyo 2020

State of Emergency Extended until March 7th

Japan's second State of Emergency is extended until March 7th to help overcome pressure on hospitals in 10 prefectures, including Tokyo, Kanagawa and Osaka.  Via Kyodo News

Second State of Emergency: Extended to Seven More Prefectures

A second State of Emergency is extended to help overcome rising infections in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Tochigi and Fukuoka.  Via Japan Times

Second State of Emergency: Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama & Kanagawa

A second month-long State of Emergency is declared to help overcome rising infections in 4 of Japan's prefectures.  Via Japan Times

Foreign Visitors Halted over New Virus Strain

Foreign visitors have been banned from entering Japan around the same time as the domestic Go To Travel campaign sees a suspension.  Via Japan Times

Health Monitoring Centres for Tourists in March

The government is expected to launch a dedicated health monitoring center in March 2021, to help register and document the health of international tourist arrivals next Spring.  Read More

Govt Sets Negative Test Requirement

Entry to Japan for the time being will require a negative COVID-19 test result conducted witin 72 hours of the departure flight.  Via MoFA

PCR Test Center Opens at Narita Airport

On-the-spot testing facility opens at Narita Airport to provide travellers proof of negative coronavirus tests before embarking to travel overseas.  Via Narita Airport

Border Restrictions Relaxed for Non-Tourist Visas

From October, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announces a wider scope for visa applications for those visiting Japan to work, study, visit relatives and more.  Via Japan Times

Re-Entry Restrictions for Foreign Residents To Be Lifted from Sept 1st

Foreign residents stuck overseas will finally be permitted to re-enter Japan under new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) infection test rules.  Read More

Re-Entry Permitted to Foreign Nationals Stuck Overseas

Policy change will allow Japan's foreign residents who may be stuck overseas, like Permanent Residence holder or spouses of Japanese nationals, to re-enter if they left Japan before travel restrictions were originally imposed in April.  Read More

Alert Raised for 17 New Countries/Regions

Travel advisory raised for Palestine and 16 countries, including Nepal, Kenya and Venezuela, over concerns with the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Read More

18 Countries Added to Entry Ban List

Japan expands its entry ban to visitors from 18 nations, including Cuba, as a continued step to help curtail the spread of coronavirus.  Read More

Japan's Contract Tracing App Launched

Free Microsoft-developed app is launched for Android and iOS. 'COCOA: COVID-19 Contact App' aims to alert users if they been in close proximity to someone infected with coronavirus.  Read More

Tokyo Lifts Coronavirus Alert

An alert warning about possible increases in coronavirus infections in Tokyo was lifted, in another step towards a full resumption of economic activity.  Read More

Travel alert raised for 18 new countries

The countries, mostly in Africa and Central America, may be added to a list totalling 111 countries and territories that would mean denied entry to Japan if visited within two weeks of arrival.  Read More

Re-Entry Rules Relaxed for Foreign Residents

Move reverses a re-entry ban and policy that favoured Japanese nationals repatriating but banned foreign residents from returning to their home in Japan for any reason, even humanitarian.  Read More

Japan expected to lift emergency procedures on Monday

Lifting is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday 25th May, following a continuous fall in infection rates. Such a move would apply to Tokyo and it surrounding prefectures (Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa) as well as Hokkaido.  Read More

State of emergency lifted in Osaka and surrounding area

The state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus is lifted in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo. Now 42 out of 47 prefectures have seen their emergency measures ended.  Read More

State of emergency lifted in most of Japan

The state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus is lifted in 39 out of 47 prefectures, after a sharp fall in new infections.  Read More

Govt Considers Lifting Emergency in Less-Affected Prefectures

In consultation with a panel of experts, the government considers partially lifting restrictions in 34 prefectures.  Read More

Abe Extends State of Emergency to May 31st

Abe makes announcement to extend nationwide State of Emergency to help reduce rate of new coronavirus infections.  Read More

Japanese Govt Plans Contact-Tracing App for May

Smartphone app planned for early May will help warn users if they have been in contact with a diagnosed Covid-19 patient.  Read More

Nationwide State of Emergency Declared

Abe expands state of emergency to cover entire nation on Thursday to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Abe Announces State of Emergency

Government poised to declare state of emergency from Tuesday, covering Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, Chiba, Saitama, Hyogo and Fukuoka.  Read More

Tokyo Governor Issues Stay at Home Request

To counter an increase in confirmed infections, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asks residents to work from home and refrain from going out in evenings and weekends.  Read More

Tokyo 2020: Officially Postponed until 2021

IOC announces decision to postpone the Olympic Games to no later than the summer of 2021, to safeguard the health of athletes, those involved in delivering the Games and the international community.  Read More

Visa exemption measures suspended for Schengen countries, rest of EU

Effective 21st March, 00:00 JST: Holders of a passport issued by affected countries (see MOFA site), intending to enter Japan without obtaining a visa, will not be permitted to land.  Read More

Japan asks Europe visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days,extends entry ban

Effective 21st March, 00:00 JST: Government plans to impose new restrictions on visitors from about 30 European countries, including Britain, France and Germany. Entry bans extend to cover Iceland and parts of Spain, Italy and Switzerland.  Read More

Japan mulls entry ban for Italy visitors

Government sources suggest a plan to impose new restrictions on visitors from parts of northern Italy in response to the coronavirus situation there. Read More

Japan to Quarantine all China and S. Korea Visitors

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces new safeguard to quarantine all visitors for 2 weeks from coronavirus-hit China and South Korea, as well as parts of Iran. Read More

JAL, ANA offer free cancellations

Two of Japan's major airlines, JAL and ANA, are offering free refunds for all tickets through March 19th that have been canceled as a result of fears about the coronavirus. Read More

Travel Advisory: Visitors from Korea Regions Restricted Access

Visitors with a travel history to Korea's Daegu City or Cheongdo County within 14 days are being restricted access to Japan (Effective Feb 27th 2020). Read More

Travel Advisory: Visitors from China Regions Restricted Access

Visitors from Wuhan (Hubei)and Zhejiang Provinces are being restricted access to Japan and may not be allowed to land in Japan (Effective Feb 13th 2020).

Temporarily Closed Places in Japan: A-Z Directory

Mazda Museum

Mazda Museum

The Mazda Museum is currently closed. Tour reservations are also temporarily unavailable. Further updates will be posted to the Mazda Museum official..

Hiroshima
Naeba Ski Resort

Naeba Ski Resort

The Naeba ski slope's business operations will resume on December 19, 2020 down to March 28, 2021.

Niigata
Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant

4.5 (2Reviews)

Temporarily closed until further notice due to coronavirus measures

Tokyo
Toei Animation Museum

Toei Animation Museum

Closed temporarily until further notice, as part of nationwide anti-coronavirus measures.

Tokyo

Cancelled events

Numerous events in Japan since March 2020 have been cancelled, postponed, or scaled back. You can view our full list of event cancellations in Japan for those we have published on our site.

Many larger-scale events, like Tokyo Game Show, have moved to an online-only format.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is going ahead in 2021 to much anticipation.

Covid in Japan FAQ

Summary: Japan's third State of Emergency ran from April 25th until May 11th June 20th (extended).

  • People have typically been requested to stay at home, businesses to close by 8pm and remote work encouraged.
  • Many companies and businesses operate under 'new normal' measures, with social distancing and hygiene precautions taken by default.
  • Many sightseeing spots either closed or introduced crowd-control measures to limit entry.

The World Health Organization's advice is as follows:

  • Wash your hands regularly – with soap and warm water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Maintain social distancing – avoid those who are coughing or sneezing (at least 1m). Some countries are implementing lockdowns and recommending keeping 2m from strangers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth – potential points of entry for coronavirus particles
  • Practice respiratory hygiene – covering your mouth when you cough, and disposing of tissues promptly followed by washing hands.
  • Wear a maskAs of June 5th 2020, WHO adapted its advice to recommend wearing a face covering to help prevent the spread of infection. See their dedicated guidance here on face masks — it is increasingly common to see 'double masking' to counter new strains of the coronavirus too.

Summary: The WHO recommends wearing face masks as of June 2020.

There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding the use of masks, ranging from their effectiveness, differing attitudes in the West and the stigma of wearing them, and even instances of panic buying and price gouging.

If you are travelling in Japan and can find them, we recommend wearing a face mask as a general precaution. Whilst the common surgical mask is not thought to be effective against blocking microscopic coronavirus particles (aerosols), they can help with both respiratory hygiene (protecting others) and keeping you from needlessly touching your face (protecting yourself until you can wash your hands).

Whether you are already in Japan, preparing for a trip, or are planning ahead, we recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance. This is both to insure against the prospect of unforeseen medical expenses if the need arise, but also against changing travel plans as the situation develops.

Note that it is essential to check your home country travel advice if you plan to travel to Japan. This is to ensure there is no impact on your insurance coverage.

Contact JNTO's Visitor Hotline. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operate a 24/7 visitor hotline service, available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. It can be called for assistance in case of accidents or emergencies relating to the coronavirus:

  • From Japan 050-3816-2787
  • From Overseas +81-50-3816-2787

Japan's official guidance has been to encourage people to self-isolate if they suspect they have related symptoms: 

  • 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher fever lasting for 4 or more days,
  • Cold symptoms
  • Severe lethargy
  • Breathing difficulties.

Japan has expanded its testing capabilities — see this list of COVID-19 testing facilities (Japanese).

Those in at-risk groups can expected to be referred for treatment and/or testing in a quicker timeframe.

This step-by-step consultation flow released by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is an easy-to-follow guide on what to do if you think you may be affected by coronavirus-related symptoms. You can also consult:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center Himawari 03-5285-8181 English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Thai.
  • Saitama Prefecture 048-833-3296 English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Nepalese.
  • Osaka Prefecture 06-6941-2297 English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese.
  • Kyoto Prefecture 075-343-9666 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Hyogo Prefecture 078-382-2052 English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Gunma Prefecture 027-289-8275 English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Yamaguchi Prefecture 092-687-6639 English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Indonesian, Portuguese, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Burmese and Khmer.
  • Hiroshima Prefecture 0120-783-806 English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Indonesian, Thai, Spanish and Nepalese.
  • Shiga Prefecture 077-523-5646 English, Chinese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Nepalese, Korean, Spanish, Russian and Hindi.
  • Wakayama Prefecture 073-435-5240 English, Chinese and Tagalog.
  • Mie Prefecture 080-3300-8077 English, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indonesian and Thai.
  • Gifu Prefecture 058-263-8066 English, Chinese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Nepalese, Korean, Spanish, Khmer, Myanmar, Malay and Mongolian.
  • Kumamoto Prefecture 080-4275-4489 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, Malay, French, Russian, German, Italian, Burmese, Khmer and Mongolian.
  • Fukuoka Prefecture 092-286-9595 English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Indonesian, Portuguese, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, Burmese and Khmer.
  • Okinawa Prefecture 0570-050-235 English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Thai.
  • Hokkaido Prefecture 011-200-9595 English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, Russian, Nepalese, Indonesian and Burmese.

Updated: June 24th (Source: NHK)
Origin Confirmed Severe Died Recovered
Total 791.699 +1676 629 14,618 +42 756,952

Compare Japan's situation with countries around the world via WHO's weekly reports, or view a real-time tracker.

Summary: As of Jan 2021, 152 countries and regions are subject to an entry ban for visitors who have passed through them within the last 14 days.

Please see JNTO's official site for the full list.

Those who are permitted entry to Japan will be subject to undergo PCR tests and to quarantine for 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief for the time being (as of June 3rd). Public transportation should not be used during this time.

As of July 2020, re-entry procedures for foreign residents who may have been stuck overseas due to travel restrictions were relaxed.

As of Feb 2021, the rules allow both Japanese citizens and foreign residents (with valid residency status) to re-enter the country.

Visa applicants (student, dependent, business, or those with Certificates of Eligibility) are included in the current ban on foreign travellers, though exceptions may be made due to emergencies or humanitarian grounds. We suggest confirming with immigration on the latest status if you need to leave Japan yet plan to return.

Those returning from overseas are required to take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure, submit the negative test result on arrival, then quarantine for 14-days whilst taking a second test within Japan. Quarantine rules must be adhered to, which include avoiding public transport or potentially spending several days in government-designated quarantine facilities if arriving from regions where newer coronavirus variants are widespread.

Note: In principle, Japan requires all inbound arrivals to quarantine for a limited period and undergo Covid-19 testing. These measures are subject to constant review and it is recommended to always check with MOFA

For travellers who are permitted entry to Japan and arriving in the country:

  • All travellers (inc. Japanese nationals) must submit a certificate of negative test result on arrival, conducted within 72 hours prior to departure — failure to do so will see entry denied and, in principle, airlines will reject boarding without one.
  • All those who enter Japan from overseas are subject to conducting a Covid-19 test upon arrival.
  • You are required to stay 14 days at a designated location and refrain from using public transportation.
  • Sign/submit a Written Pledge when entering Japan to properly quarantine and refrain from using public transport, retain location data and share with health centers/institutions if requested.

Adjusted rules are also in place for those visitors from countries with higher coronavirus infections of B.1.617 (delta variant). This includes quarantining at specifically designated facilities for 3 days followed by a further Covid-19 test.

Official Japan travel advisories

Please consult these official advisories from countries overseas to gauge the current advice on travelling overseas at this time.

Updated: May 7th 2021
Country Status Border Status
USA Reconsider travel Updated: Feb 5th 2021

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

UK Amber List: do not travel Updated: May 7th 2021

You should not travel to amber list countries or territories.

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

Singapore Defer all travel abroad Updated: Feb 3rd 2021

Sep 2020: the Reciprocal Green Lane (Business Track) permits essential business and official travel between Japan & Singapore

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

Canada Avoid non-essential travel Updated: Feb 5th 2021

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

Australia Do not go overseas – a travel ban is in place Updated: Feb 5th 2021

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

NZ Do not travel overseas at this time Updated: Feb 5th 2021

Subjected to entry ban to Japan

Planning an upcoming trip? We recommend checking your local authority's latest travel and health advisories, as well as the current flight status of your airline.

WHO (World Health Organization)

Coronavirus information

JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)

Official coronavirus updates
@JapanSafeTravel

Tokyo Metropolitan Govt

If you feel concerned by Covid-19 (step-by-step consultation)

MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)

Official updates

Covid-19 Tracker